Big Banks Plead with Customers Not to Move Their Money

Yes, The Big Banks DO Care If We Move Our Money

650,000 customers moved $4.5 billion dollars out of the big banks and into smaller banks and credit unions in the last month.

But there is a myth making the rounds that the big banks don’t really care if we move our money. For example, one line of reasoning is that no matter how many people move their money, the Fed and Treasury will just bail out the giants again.

But many anecdotes show that the too big to fails do, in fact, care.

Initially, of course, if the big banks really didn’t care, they wouldn’t have prevented protesters from closing their accounts.

NBC notes that – in response to inquiries regarding how many people have moved their money – Bank of America refused to provide figures, and instead sent the following defensive email:

“Bank of America continues to be a great place for customers to manage their everyday finances and achieve their savings goals,” [Colleen Haggerty, a spokeswoman for Bank of America’s Southern California operations] said in an email. “We offer customers more choice and convenience, including industry-leading fraud protection, access to thousands of banking centers and ATMs, and the best online and mobile banking, which allow customers to bank on their terms 24/7.”

A writer noted at Daily Kos:

At Wells Fargo, my sister walked up to the teller and politely asked to close her account. The teller said, “No problem.” She pulled up her account and saw the balance and told her that due to the amount she had to speak with the branch manager. The branch manager came out. He was probably 30 years old and was very arrogant. He asked my sister why she wanted to close her account and my sister told him she thought Wells Fargo was part of the problem with the economy. He went thru some talking points about why she shouldn’t move her money, but my sister didn’t back down. When he asked her where she was going she told him that she would be banking at the North Carolina State Employees Credit Union. She isn’t a state employee, but anyone can join if you are related to a state employee. It turns out her husband is. Anyway, the bankster told her “You’ll be back. Credit unions can’t provide the services you need.” We’ll see about that. She withdrew over $200k from Wells Fargo.

Next we went to Bank of America. I closed my last account with hardly any questions asked. Of course, I had taken most of my money out so there wasn’t much left to take. My sister on the other hand had a large balance in multiple accounts. They actually refused to cut her a check for the full amounts. They only gave her 1/3 of her money and told her she’d have to come back to withdraw the rest. They claimed they were only allowed to make checks for a certain amount, and that they had no authority to cut additional checks on the same day. Stupid BofA. She had her check in hand and politely told off the branch manager when he told her she had to come back another day or two to withdraw the rest.

At BofA, we weren’t the only ones closing accounts. There was a line of people. Most had small accounts because they weren’t even being challenged, but she actually had to wait in line to speak with a branch manager.

At SunTrust, the branch manager went off his rocker. He just kept asking her “is there anything I can do or anything I can say to change your mind?” He asked probably twenty times. He even offered to have the market executive meet with her and hear out her concerns. She told him she wasn’t interested. He really looked nervous about it.

And a writer at Daily Bail pointed out:

I went in, asked to speak with a banker and was seated in an office. When the young associate came in and asked the purpose of my visit, I handed her my ATM card and requested that she tell me the balance. When she did, I then asked for a cashiers check in that amount. That’s when things got wonky. She froze, stumbled over her words and asked why I needed that amount (It was not a small sum). This gave me an opportunity to explain that although I personally would not be affected by their new fees I know plenty of friends and family that would feel the pain. In solidarity with them, I wished to close the account and move on. She unwittingly suggested that if I just use my debit card once a month then there would be no fee. That was good for a belly laugh from me, then I again requested the balance to be issued to me in the form of a cashier’s check. She then told me that there would be a $10 fee for this service. Another laugh. I guess it didn’t sink in when I told her that I was fee adverse. There was an easy work-around anyway – I requested the cash. That finished my time with this associate banker as the amount I was requesting was “well past” her daily limit for withdrawals. I asked if there would be an issue with securing the cash and she said “I honestly don’t know if we have that here” and walked out to get the branch manager.

The manager was pleasant enough and very direct. After introducing herself she flat out asked “What can we do to change your mind?” “We don’t want to see you go” she emphasized. This opened a door for me to further explain my decision to leave the bank and why I was doing it. Amazingly, it did not fall on deaf ears. She indicated that understood where I was coming from and actually showed genuine surprise at some of the facts I provided her about the less than consumer friendly policies and machinations of her employer. She did make some feeble counter-arguments and repeatedly asked me if I would change my mind (with a hint of desperation!). I stood firm and by the end of our conversation she asked if I would be willing to put it all in writing so she could send it up the chain.

She shared that management is nervous, they are seeing money leaking out of the bank and realize that they have made mistakes…. They are also aware of the growing momentum behind the November 5th move your money movement.


Management is aware that people are angry (how could they not be!) and have put an ear to the ground.

Hundreds of similar stories are being told all over America.

Even though the government may keep throwing money at the dinosaurs, the Basel regulations do have some capital requirements, and so the big banks need to bring in some actual deposits to fund their casino gambling.

Moreover, if too many depositors leave, the illusion that the big banks are serving the American public will be burst, and a critical mass of consciousness will occur, so that the banks’ unquestioned control over the American political and financial systems will start to be questioned.

So moving our money is an effective step towards reclaiming America.

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  • Aridzonan_13

    Bravo!! Catherine Austin Fitts has been promulgating this for years. Vote with your money! If you want US manufacturing to come back. Start buying local at every occasion. It’s hard to do. But, if you think of money as energy. Going to a big box store creates a direct economic short that sucks the money out of your community. At a Ma and Pa, the money stays in your place. America, keep up the good work!!! See for more info.

  • I’m an attorney representing homeowners against the foreclosure of their homes. When the banks begin laying off their employees, I would love to begin speaking with any of these people individually to discuss viability in bringing claims against their former employers under Section 922 of the Dodd-Frank Act for any acts of corruption which these former employees may have specific knowledge. These types of claims can be submitted anonymously if the party is represented by an attorney. The claimant will share in a substantial percentage of any penalties assessed by the Securities and Exchange Commission against the financial institution. It is time to hold this sector of business responsible for their misdeeds. I’m happy to see people beginning to take ownership of their country’s destiny rather than leaving decisions to be made largely for the benefit of those who are buying off the politicians in this country.

    • ConcernedCitizen

      So you’re suggesting you skimming profit from the atrocities is the way to get back at those leeches?

    • Anonymous

      You know your comment is an ethics violation, right?

      • Ready Freddy

        Dumb ass.

        • Sparrow

          Yeah, THERE’S an argument that’ll win people over!

  • “…so that the banks’ questioned control over the American political and financial systems will start to be questioned.”

    I think you meant “unquestioned control” instead of questioned control.

    I agree and I hope the trend continues, one day or one month isn’t enough to shake the foundations of the current corrupt financial order.

  • Mark Tichenor

    Branches are responsible for their own growth numbers, so even drops in the bucket matter to the managers’ bonus checks.

    • LMW6

      It also affects those who are employed at that branch – if they lose enough customers, the employees lose their jobs…

      I’m not against moving your cash – in fact we’ve been with a credit union since a “big bank” caused a rash of bounced checks because of a 1 penny shortage in our checking account (we transferred money from savings to cover one bill – that left us with $4.99 cents in savings – instead of transferring back that one penny, they transferred back to savings the entire transfer causing a massive series of bounced checks that cost us over $200.00 in “insufficient funds fees”. ) They refused to fix their mistake and we refused to bank with them any longer – we’ve been with a credit union ever since 1987.

      However, there are consequences to this beyond a branch manager or CFO’s bonus check and everyone would be well advised to remember this.

  • Look, NO ONE on Wall St. is going to ‘break up’ the TBTF (Too-Big-To-Fail) Banks. So, WE THE PEOPLE need to do it. “650,000 customers moved $4.5 billion dollars out of the big banks and into smaller banks and credit unions in the last month.” THAT IS A PALTRY SUM. WE CAN DO BETTER THAN THAT !!!!

    Here’s another reason for EVERY AMERICAN TO MOVE THEIR MONEY TO A SMALL, LOCAL CREDIT UNION, OR LOCAL (non-tbtf-affiliated) BANK:

    The Big Wall Street Banks Are Already Trying To Buy The 2012 Election

    Better than moving your money. Use it to buy SILVER BULLION.

    • Sparrow

      Paltry? Apparently it’s big enough that the banks are getting nervous. I wouldn’t call that “paltry”.

      • ppapez

        4.5 billion dollars is $15 per person. Most of us spend more at Starbucks every week.

        • Charlie

          @ppapez, You have one of the afflictions that our masters use to manipulate us – you are ignorant – $4.5 billion divided by 650,000 people is over $6900 each.

    • Are you serious?

      $4.5 billion is a “paltry” sum? Are you out of your mind? I’m all for doubling and tripling our efforts, but give me a break. Well over half a million account closures and Four and a half BILLION dollars taken away from these crooks is a VERY good start!

      • ppapez

        4.5 billion dollasr divided by an (over) estimated 300 million Americans is $15 a person . That’s paltry.
        If you reread these stories above you will notice that between two people there were 5 different bank accounts. I have three accounts myself and most of the people I know carry accounts with at least two different banks.
        650 thousand accounts (as claimed by OWS the actual number is less) closed at two accounts per person is .001%. At one account per person that jumps to .002% That’s as paltry as it gets.

        • MoT

          Firstly, everyone doesn’t “bank”. Does the infant in that stroller? The senior keeping his roll of greenbacks stuffed in a coffee can? The illegal? And you’re making the classic mistake of assuming EVERYONE uses the big banks to begin with. They don’t! Millions are already using credit unions and smaller local banks. You’re figures assume too much.

        • smerls

          Wrong metrics…300 million people includes kids who may or not have accounts. You need to look at how many customers each bank has. So BofA has some where around 20 million customers, so if 600,000 accounts were closed (and I know the 600,000 is not all BOFA customers) then that would be what..about 3-4% closure rate in one month (also you need to look at the time period).

          That is not paltry by any means, it is a great start!!

          This is how the free market should work (not that we have free markets). If people are upset they go somewhere else and if enough people do so, they the company/market will respond!!

        • Smurf

          Look at the distribution of wealth, age, who cares, etc. Most likely you should divide that by the 1 million so you would be at 4,500 per person. Most wealth is in homes or retirement accounts. Moving self directed retirement accounts would have a biger impact as this money sits for long periods.

          Pay off debt that is above the present lending rate.

          I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.
          Thomas Jefferson, (Attributed)
          3rd president of US (1743 – 1826)

        • Abracadabra

          Yeah. I know all the children in my neighborhoods have accounts. Why, the babies alone!

  • SJS

    I pulled my money out of the banks and into credit unions better than a decade ago over outrage at their fee structures. I’ve moved my entire account out of two different credit unions when they started to behave the same way as the banks. I’m a bit sad that I couldn’t close a bank account to support this “movement”.

    I would like to point out that credit unions aren’t necessarily all sweetness and light. They can engage in the same sort of fee-ism that the banks do, so be warned. Pick your credit union carefully, and be ready to walk when they start acting like a bank.

    • L Carter

      Your are correct I moved my money out of our credit union because they charged $1 everytime you took money out.

    • MoT

      You’re absolutely spot on. Credit unions can be just as predatory as the big boys. The key is finding one that doesn’t engage in this behavior. I believe there is a rating given to what is considered to be the most stable banks, etc. I was surprised to find one in my state rated at the top.

  • This is beautiful stuff. We have to keep shrinking these bastard banks until they are no longer too big to fail.

  • Calvin Klein

    Mulch the big bankersand mix with manure

    • Ken

      Why would anyone contaminate perfectly good manure with the ground-up remains of bankers?

  • r

    Now we need to throw out the real criminals the politicians who forced the banks to do these dirty deeds!

    • Sparrow

      What politicians would those be? Nobody “forced” the banks to start playing mumbledy-peg with people’s money. The lack of regulations FREED them to do exactly what they wanted to do, without consequences.

      • LMW6

        No, the lack of oversight of the SEC allowed the banks to find the loopholes that existed in what the politicians put in place as regulation.

        When this movement begins to understand that it all comes back to the elected persons, then we’ll get somewhere…take the Loan Modification Plan that Obama put into place – He claimed it would help 7 – 9 million homeowners keep their homes – how many did it actually help? About 949 thousand….

        He got a huge political “bounce” out of it – showing that he “cared” about the little people (after he helped draft the 2000 page monstrosity that was TARP and the second stimulus) and then he and all the others who felt real good about what they’d done to forgot all about it. In the end, it was symbolic and did little to nothing to impact the foreclosure and turning upside down of the housing market.

        Same with all the hoopla over the Student Loan Executive Orders – how many people have actually had help with their student loan payments? Not enough to be a drop in the bucket…why? Because those loans had to be originated in 2008…..everyone who had graduated during the great loss of jobs was out of luck – couldn’t find work and couldn’t get their loan restructured….those who took out loans in 2008? Most of them are STILL in college.

        When the American Public wakes up to these kinds of things and stop just looking at the words of their elected officials and instead – looks at the RESULTS of their actions, then we’ll begin to make a real change. It is not limited to one political party……..

  • Lisa

    My credit union is now charging my account $5 a month if there are not 5 Debit car transactions for the month.
    I want to save my money… not spend it.
    Some of you may say… geeze… it’s only 5 transactions a month. just do it and deal with it.
    I say NO… I need to save money… not spend it… why did I put the money there in the first place?
    Now I have to find ANOTHER place to SAVE my hard earned money.

    None of you know my hardships. dont give me any BS about putting my $ in my mattress. the banks say. “Your $ is safe with us”. So …am I naive to think that?

    • edward

      yes, you are naive to think that your money is safe in a bank. Do some research on fractional reserve banking, bank runs and banking holidays. When you’re finished, you might want to look into the FDIC and just how undercapitalized they truly are.

  • MountainHome

    It said above that they had to wait to withdraw their money until they had to speak to a branch manager…..why does anyone have to be separated from their money until they talk to someone? Just another small, but significent coldness of big banks.

    • chris in ChCh

      Mike Rivero over @ has a wee trick to speed that right along. Ask, in a very loud voice, so as all the other customers waiting in line(s) get to hear “what do you mean you’ve run out of money” or “what do you mean I have to wait to see a manager – havent you got enough cash to cover my withdrawl?” etc., etc. I’m sure you get the drift.

      • ppapez

        Yes because making yourself sound like a belligerent idiot is always the right choice.

        • BokeyDaBear

          The idea here is loud comments like those suggested will potentially incite a bank run, which the banksters will want to avoid (and you will, too, if you’re a customer of said “institution”). They will likely spring into action in order to get you to shut up. Belligerent idiot or smart tactical move?

  • Jason

    I think people are forgetting the largest and possibly the most corrupt private bank in the country. The Federal Reserve…the U.S. Government borrows at interest money from the Federal Reserve. It is a never ending cycle of debt transferred from one person to another. Want change (no pun intended), fight for our own government to start printing money again, preferably money that is backed by a precious metal of some kind. You think moving your money to a credit union will frighten your bank, see what they do when they can no longer conduct fractional reserve banking…

  • Chris

    What Barry Ritholtz at The Big Picture posted this morning reads very similarly to this article. Did he have permission to repost without acknowledgement?

  • David Forde

    Great! About time people power went to work, against these criminal shiftless thieves!

  • Charles Park

    Is everyone aware that when a bank fails and is taken over by the FDIC,even though savings, checking and CD deposits are safe,The bank getting the assets is NOT required to live up to the terms of the CD. If you have a large,long term CD and depend on it for income, you could see your nice interest rate drop to a fraction of a per cent. Make sure of the safety of your bank. Don’t just chase higher yields. Some of the highest yields are from banks desperately trying to raise capital.

  • getreal

    Who needs banks? I’ve kept 98% ~ 100% of my assets in physical gold and silver for years, and cannot for the life of me understand why anyone holds paper assets or lets banksters and other criminal corporations hold their wealth. Doesn’t anyone realize how many thousand laws, regulations and reporting requirements apply to ACCOUNTs? Think about it. If you hold your own wealth you have no “account” and are immediately freed from these totally bogus laws, regulations and requirements. Furthermore, every corporation acts as a spy FOR the predators-that-be and predator-class and AGAINST you and your interests. Why support them? I don’t. Why would anyone? TOTALLY ABANDON THE CORRUPT SYSTEM.

    • RubyDoo

      Okay, so you’re saying you have no bank account at all? How do you pay your utility bills, etc? Surely you must have some money in a bank?

  • Damn, that’s awesome!

  • Now we just need to have a “Sell off all your stock day” to put the icing on the cake.

  • What Took You So Long?

    Due to my rental busiiness, I’ve had to deal with these crooked banks for years. BofA is by far the worst. I used to joke, they built their new building in Charlotte off of the fees oe of my tenants was paying them for bounced checks! Then, when you try to cash a check written on their bank, they treat you like a Bank Robber. I think that may have to do with the Feds trying to track transactions, but it helps the banks in the end, by making you deposit in their accounts to keep from being humiliated by fingerprinting.

  • bill

    To big to fail? More like to big to JAIL!

  • cosmo

    I have closed a Wells Fargo account and a BofA account, and have moved both accounts to a small
    local credit union.

    I was with WF since the early 1980s, and with BofA for more than 2 yrs now.

    My feet did the protesting, and the CU is a lot more friendlier, too.

  • These ‘people’ are not shiftless thieves! Quite the contrary, they are rather crafty and know
    how to play the emotional, brainwashed american public as the politicians do like a well tuned
    fiddle. Recall Henry Ford said “if the american public understood exactly how our banking system worked they would revolt tomorrow!” That comment was made in the 1930’s. I ain’t seen no revolution yet, have you? The ‘natives’ are just beginning to get restless.

    Chicago, Illinois

  • John Anderson

    I hope that enough people take the time to study the problems of modern financial workings especially the role of the FED in this crisis. The banks have access to money from the FED at ridiculously low rates, but are still holding off on making loans to even very successful small businesses, because they want to influence the next election cycle.
    This is reason enough to put them outa business if possible.
    Even though the banks can get cheap money from the FED, it does not carry the multyplier effect that deposits from sources other than the central bank. These banks “TBTF” now make more money off the stock market, than loans.
    So get your money out of them and put it into a local S&L.

  • Manticore

    Glad I’ve always banked with a small credit union. There may be some disadvantages, but it’s just not worth it to deal with big banks.

  • Eugene Threadgill

    I have a generous amount of cash sitting in BOA that I am going to move to a credit union on Monday. America unite and break the backs of these crooks.

  • McCoy Pauley

    Doesn’t matter WHERE you keep your “money” if this whole system crashes — and it is beginning to look more and more like that’s exactly where it is headed. Turn your “money” into TOOLS (and develop the skills to use them) and SUPPLIES, and you literally have the MEANS of feeding and housing and clothing yourself. Turn your “money” into WEAPONS (and, again, develop the skills to use them), and you can PROTECT yourself. Yeah, try EATING some of your “money” when the crap hits the fan, Jim. Heh.

  • Sally

    Why not get out of banks altogether? They are in business to make money, and this is what they do with our money 24/7/365 (make more money from it). We need to start thinking differently in this country. WHY DO WE NEED BANKS (or credit unions) or anyone else to hold our money??? We get caught in a rut and think we’re entitled to having things like we want them. It won’t happen until we change our thinking. (Same with insurance, btw – why do we have to depend on insurance instead of setting money aside for emergencies – but that’s another story…)

    • Smurf

      I assume you have no part in banks?

      Banks provide a useful service, like fire.
      Your choice if it warms you, cooks your food, clears your land, or burns you up or out.

      I was offered a ballon payment loan about 20 years ago. I asked a few questions and told them give me the fixed simple intrest rate.

  • Jeff

    After just requesting a small amount to withdraw, (400.00$) the clerk at my credit union asked me why and for what purpose I was going to use the money. Somewhat stunned since I didnt know the clerk I said, “that’s really none of your business”. I don’t know if this is now the norm, but the next time I hear that question I hope they find humor in the answer of strippers and hookers!

    • MoT

      The flip side to such inane “questioning” is when you try and deposit a large check, even a paycheck from a major corporation mind you, into your own account using printed deposit slips with your name etc. etc. etc. I only wanted $100 out of over $2000 being put in but then had to prove who I was!!! Excuse me? The absurdity struck me like a thunderbolt. Who in their right mind would go to the trouble of scamming a bank for a paltry $100? It’s absurd.

  • Windfreak

    If people understood the nature of the Central banking system, there would be a revolution tomorrow!

    Wake up people !!, the Central Bank (Federal Reserve)that loans the government money at interest is a private corporation, and your income tax dollars go directly into the Banksters pockets in the form of interest on the National debt. It is also the creator of money out of thin air (fractional reserve system ) It is time for everyone, and I do mean everyone to stop paying the INCOME TAX!!
    Abolish the Federal Reserve and get the banksters out of the government and into prison where they belong. Eliminate the collection arm of the Federal Reserve, the IRS, and create a truly free country again!!

    • Wake up, America !

      BRAVO !!!!!……… Windfreak…… I’ve been Saying the Same for 35 Years Now !
      People are Ignorant ! …. Most People in this Country are Living in their “La De Da.. de Da” World, Just Wait, till They have No JOB, (I say this because I Know too Many Families that are Still Working, and don’t Believe whats going on in this (Our Country) “Corrupt Police State” They Must Wake up… “For the People by the People” …Wake up, America !

  • steve langer

    Don’t know if there is an answer to this, but in the event of a global derivatives meltdown which all the large banks are now players in, would money in a credit union or discount brokerage that is not in those derivatives markets be exempted from a ‘banking holiday’ where access to all money is blocked. Just asking.

  • Nicholleeeee

    Great job!
    They thought we were that clueless and wouldn’t find out what they were really. I just awoke from the sleep I was in. I’m paying off most of my debt from money in savings and now I am going to transfer from a fed bank to a local bank. I am going to spread the word and hopefully some friends and family make the same choice. I started to see what was really going on once I found out our constitution was falling apart! That serves them right for messing with our freedom.

  • Gabriel Topman

    Not just your money. I would relocate too and use this company: